As commercial real estate professionals conduct more of their business online, new technology products have emerged to meet an expanding range of needs. Among the latest to come along is CRES-Tek, a Web-based service for generating marketing materials for commercial properties.
With CRES-Tek, commercial brokers can upload property information into a Web-based data system and have a full package of marketing materials generated in minutes, says Ingrid van Arnhem, senior executive vice president with Commercial Real Estate Solutions (CRES), a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based consulting firm and developer of CRES-Tek’s application.
Recently, van Arnhem and her partner, CRES president and CEO Mark Donahue, both long-term veterans of commercial brokerage firm CB Richard Ellis, noticed brokers had few options for generating marketing collateral for commercial properties. A number of services aid residential brokers in creating marketing brochures online, but similar services did not exist for commercial real estate. Instead, commercial real estate brokers often rely on shared in-house marketing directors to create collateral—which can delay turnaround times. And brokers at smaller firms often don’t even have that option and have to build the materials themselves, which can lead to inconsistencies in the company’s branding.
In April, van Arnhem and Donahue unveiled a system that automates the creation of marketing collateral for commercial properties. CRES-Tek can create a property Web site, listing proposals, marketing brochures, financial summaries, email fliers and e-cards, customized with the logo and colors of the brokerage firm in charge of the assignment.
In addition, CRES-Tek provides an opportunity for brokers to create “What if?” scenarios for the property, including different cap rates and down payments, and to export the marketing materials to online listings services. During test runs, it took van Arnhem about 20 minutes to enter information for a complete property marketing package into CRES-Tek’s system and all the materials were ready within minutes.
“You can expose your property very quickly and very efficiently without having to wait days for the marketing person to get back to you,” she says. “And for companies, it standardizes the corporate marketing materials, so they will always have a consistent marketing image.”
A subscription to CRES-Tek’s Web service costs $55 a month per user license (the contract has to be for at least a year’s term). To help brokers learn how to use the service, van Arnhem provides an hour-long hands-on demonstration that can be followed up with online tutorials. CRES-Tek is already being used by the Colliers Abood Wood-Fay offices in Florida and by a Coldwell Banker office in Los Angeles. In addition, CRES has been negotiating contracts with two nationwide networks of commercial real estate companies.